Newswise — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently awarded a $50,000 AACN Impact Research Grant to Jean Anne Connor, RN, DNSc, CPNP, director of nursing research in the cardiovascular program at Children’s Hospital Boston.

Connor and her research team will conduct a 12-month pilot study to explore how children’s hospitals across the United States measure the quality of care provided by pediatric cardiovascular nurses. The resulting baseline data will help identify key performance indicators specific to pediatric nursing and articulate their value in the delivery of nursing care, a crucial element in ongoing efforts to improve quality and reduce costs.

Connor will be among those inducted into AACN’s Circle of Excellence Society during the association’s 2012 National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition, May 19-24, Orlando, Fla. AACN Impact Research Grants support clinical inquiry that drives change in high acuity and critical care nursing practice. Priority projects address gaps in clinical research at the organization or system level and translation of these findings to bedside clinicians. Projects include use of technology to assess patients and manage outcomes; ways to create a healing and humane environment; and processes and systems to optimize high acuity and critical care nursing.

This year, AACN awarded two Impact Research Grants, which will increase to three in 2013. The grants are available to established researchers and beginning researchers with mentors, and applicants may request up to $50,000 in total costs for a maximum of three years.

Brigit Carter, RN, PhD, MSN, CCRN, assistant clinical professor at Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, N.C., received the second 2012 Impact Research Grant to study feeding intolerance in preterm infants. Other 2012 grants from AACN support a variety of projects ranging from research on clinical outcomes in preterm, pediatric and adult patient populations to identifying quality of life issues among parental caregivers. Recipients are as follows:• Michele DeGrazia, PhD, RN, NNP-BC, Children’s Hospital Boston (AACN-Edwards Lifesciences Nurse-driven Clinical Practice Outcomes Grant)• Rachel Joseph, RN, MSN, CCRN, Christiana Care Health Systems, Newark, Del. (AACN-Sigma Theta Tau Critical Care Grant)• Alison Montpetit, PhD, RN, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing, Richmond, Va. (AACN-Philips Medical Systems Clinical Outcomes Grant)• Camilla Pearson, RN, Medstar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C. (AACN- Philips Medical Systems Clinical Outcomes Grant)• Christina Stewart-Amidei, MSN, RN, CNRN, CCRN, FAAN, University of Central Florida College of Nursing, Orlando, Fla. (AACN-Philips Medical Systems Clinical Outcomes Grant)

AACN developed the Impact Research Grants in its ongoing effort to support clinical research for high acuity and critical care nursing. The association also continues to award the following grants annually: the AACN-Sigma Theta Tau Critical Care Grant for up to $10,000; as many as three AACN-Philips Medical Systems Clinical Outcomes Grants, up to $10,000 each; up to two AACN-Edwards Lifesciences Nurse-driven Clinical Practice Outcomes Grants, up to $5,000 each; and the AACN Physio-Control Clinical Practice Grant for up to $1,500.

Principal investigators must be current AACN members. All AACN research grant applications must be submitted online by Nov. 1, 2012. For more information, including award criteria and supporting documents, visit

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses and claims more than 240 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution.